Soon the meal was over, the tables were being cleaned up and people started moving off toward other activities. Stanley raced over to Johnny and said, “Can we go fishing now Johnny? Can we go now?”
“Let’s go ask your Dad, Stanley. We want to make sure that we have his permission and that he knows where you are”, replied Johnny. “OK!” said Stanley and off he ran to where his father and mother were standing talking to another couple.
Johnny arrived in time to hear Pastor Johnson reply to his son, “Sure Stanley I just want to talk to Johnny for a minute to make sure that I know where you will be.”
“Hi Pastor” Johnny said as he approached the small group of people. “We’ll be right over by the river where that big flat rock is right under those two tall trees.” Johnny pointed over toward the river where the rock was. “You should be able to see us the whole time. There is a little hole right in front of that rock where the fish like to hang out. It’s real good for fishing.” Johnny continued.
“That sounds great!” replied the Pastor Johnson, “would you mind if Susie came with you? She likes to keep an eye on her little brother.”
“Sure pastor, I brought enough stuff for her anyway, because I…well…I…thought that she might want to.” Johnny replied with a big smile.
“That sounds like fun!” came Susie’s voice from behind Johnny. Susie had been close by and overheard the conversation with some enthusiasm. “Thanks, Dad!” She said. “Well then, why don’t you kids run off and catch us a whole ‘mess ‘o’ fish’” laughed the pastor. “And don’t anyone fall in. That water is cold and it moves pretty fast away from the little hole Johnny is talking about. Oh, and have a good time kids!!”
Johnny and Susie and Stanley all headed over toward the big rock where Johnny and Susie had stashed all of Johnny’s gear before lunch. Before long they were all set up on top of the big rock and waiting for a big bite. Johnny was casting for Stanley and then handing him the pole to reel in across the little pond in the eddy of the river underneath the rock. There was lots of filtered sunlight. The air was warm but it felt a lot cooler near the river. Johnny was talking to Stanley constantly giving him fishing tips like how slowly to reel in so that the fish thought the bait was alive, what to do to set the hook if he got a bite and stuff like that. Each time that Stanley reeled his line back in, Johnny would cast it out for him again. Stanley kept asking if he could do it himself, but Johnny said that he could do that the next time they went fishing and there weren’t so many people around. He didn’t want anyone to accidentally get hooked. Stanley didn’t think that he would hook anyone, but went along with Johnny so that he would continue to teach him.
Susie kept a close eye on the two boys and put in her own two cents on occasion just so that she wasn’t left out of the conversation. Johnny also kept an eye on Susie. He felt responsible for her since he was the ‘man’ of the group.
Everyone was having a good time…until…
Stanley had reeled in his line for the 15th time and was waiting for Johnny to cast it out for him again. Johnny was busy helping Susie with a snag in her line when Stanley started feeling like he was being treated like the baby of the group and decided to cast his line out himself.
He had been watching Johnny closely, and mimicked his actions very closely. He reeled his line all the way in. He stepped back a step. He moved the rod over his head behind him and put his finger on the button of the reel. He then took two steps forward moving the reel quickly over his head in the direction of the water and pushed the button on the reel to release the line and let it fly out over the water. All of that worked well except that he was not watching where his feet were going and he was launched out over the water along with his pole.